Critical Realism is a broad movement within philosophy and social science. It is a movement that began in British philosophy and sociology following the founding work of Roy Bhaskar, Margaret Archer and others. Critical Realism emerged from the desire to realise an adequate realist philosophy of science, social science, and of critique. Against empiricism, positivism and various idealisms (interpretivism, radical social constructionism), Critical Realism argues for the necessity of ontology. The pursuit of ontology is the attempt to understand and say something about ‘the things themselves’ and not simply about our beliefs, experiences, or our current knowledge and understanding of those things. Critical Realism also argues against the implicit ontology of the empiricists and idealists of events and regularities, reducing reality to thought, language, belief, custom, or experience. Instead Critical Realism advocates a structural realist and causal powers approach to natural and social ontology, with a focus upon social relations and process of social transformation.
Important movements within Critical Realism include the morphogenetic approach developed by Margaret Archer; Critical Realist economics developed by Tony Lawson; as well as dialectical Critical Realism (embracing being, becoming and absence) and the philosophy of metaReality (emphasising priority of the non-dual) developed by Roy Bhaskar.
For over thirty years, Routledge has been closely associated with Critical Realism and, in particular, the work of Roy Bhaskar, publishing well over fifty works in, or informed by, Critical Realism (in series including Critical Realism: Interventions; Ontological Explorations; New Studies in Critical Realism and Education). These have all now been brought together under one series dedicated to Critical Realism.
The Centre for Critical Realism is the advisory editorial board for the series. If you would like to know more about the Centre for Critical Realism, or to submit a book proposal, please visit www.centreforcriticalrealism.com.
Big Picture Perspectives on Planetary Flourishing Metatheory for the Anthropocene Volume 1
The Morphogenesis of the Norwegian Educational System Emergence and Development from a Critical Realist Perspective
Critical Realism, Feminism, and Gender: A Reader
Social and Ethnic Inequalities in the Cypriot Education System A Critical Realist View on Empowerment
By Nicholas Hedlund, Sean Esbjörn-Hargens
July 21, 2022
This book, split across two volumes, is a follow up and companion to Metatheory for the Twenty-First Century (Routledge, 2016). All three of these volumes are the dialogical outcomes of a multi-year symposia series wherein critical realists and integral theorists deeply engaged each other and their...
By Steve Ash
March 31, 2022
Adopting a critical realist approach to morality, this book considers morality as an aspect of social reality, enquiring into the nature of moral agency and asking whether we can legitimately argue for a specific moral position and whether moral positions can be understood to apply universally. ...
By Margaret S. Archer, Unn-Doris K. Bæck, Tone Skinningsrud
March 22, 2022
Based in the philosophy of critical realism, this book employs a range of Margaret Archer’s theoretical concepts to investigate temporal and spatial aspects of Norwegian education. Stemming from Archer’s engagement as visiting professor from 2017 to 2019 in the Department of Education at UiT The ...
By Michiel van Ingen, Steph Grohmann, Lena Gunnarsson
May 28, 2020
In assessing the current state of feminism and gender studies, whether on a theoretical or a practical level, it has become increasingly challenging to avoid the conclusion that these fields are in a state of disarray. Indeed, feminist and gender studies discussions are beset with persistent splits...
By Yana Manyukhina
October 17, 2019
This book engages with the topic of ethical consumption and applies a critical-realist approach to explore the process of becoming and being an ethical consumer. By integrating Margaret Archer’s theory of identity formation and Christian Coff’s work on food ethics, it develops a theoretical account...
By Nick Wilson
August 29, 2019
The Space that Separates: A Realist Theory of Art radically challenges our assumptions about what art is, what art does, who is doing it, and why it matters. Rejecting the modernist and market-driven misconception that art is only what artists do, Wilson instead presents a realist case for living ...
By Areti Stylianou, David Scott
June 13, 2019
Accommodating the diversity of learners in mainstream schooling and providing high quality education for all, inclusive education is prioritised at international and European levels as a human rights issue and as a reform strategy which tackles inequalities and promotes social cohesion within both ...
By Berth Danermark, Mats Ekström, Jan Ch. Karlsson
March 29, 2019
Fully revised, with an updated bibliography and new, relevant illustrative examples based on work inspired by critical realism, this new edition of Explaining Society constitutes an up-to-date resource connecting methodology, theory, and empirical research. Including discussions of more recent ...
By Graham Scambler
March 21, 2019
It is now accepted that many of the determinants of health and health care are social. This volume offers a philosophical and theoretical frame within which the nature and extent of this might be optimally examined. The analysis is rooted in Roy Bhaskar’s basic and dialectical critical realism, ...
By Johnny C. Go
December 13, 2018
This book examines the possibility and necessity of critical thinking in religious education through the lenses of critical realism and the Christian doctrine of sensus fidei (‘sense of faith’). Drawing on Bhaskar’s original critical realism and data from a survey of over a thousand teachers in the...
By Christopher W. Haley
October 11, 2018
The Subject of Human Being presents a sweeping account of the nature of human existence. As a work of philosophical anthropology, the analysis ranges from the basic powers emerging from the mind, to our extraordinary psychological capacities, to the shared sociocultural worlds we inhabit. The book ...
By Roy Bhaskar
March 29, 2018
A picture has indeed held modern Western philosophy captive, that of the universe as a vast machine whose iron laws are best understood as exceptionless empirical regularities which, as it were, determine the future before it happens. This fantastic conception commands the assent, not just of ...